After three seasons of The Leftovers, we’re finally clued in as to why a successful woman like Laurie Garvey would ditch her family, therapy practice and worldly possessions in exchange for the cigarettes and silence of the Guilty Remnant.
The Departure hit Laurie like Nora’s accidental punch to the face, forcing her to reevaluate her core belief system — one built on science, logic and reason — leaving her no choice but to battle her inner demons. Here’s what the internet had to say about Laurie Garvey’s eye-opening backstory and Amy Brenneman’s gut-wrenching performance.
Uproxx’s Alan Sepinwall praises the episode’s unveiling of Laurie’s post-Departure, pre-Guilty Remnant struggle:
“‘Certified’ — the saddest and most beautiful episode of this final season so far — opens with Laurie still working as a therapist two years after the Sudden Departure. She can barely get through a session with the grieving mother from the series’ opening scene, then swallows every pill she has in the house in an attempt to make the pain and the confusion and the emptiness inside her go away.”
Caroline Framke at Vox wonders where the final season goes from here:
“This is the kind of television episode that makes me wish I saved all my best adjectives for it. I’ve called almost every Leftovers episode this season ‘gut-wrenching,’ or ‘devastating,’ or ‘extraordinary,’ or all of the above. But goddamn if the show didn’t just outdo itself all over again with this gorgeous hour, which knots three journeys together with such intricate finality that, more than ever, I have no idea where The Leftovers goes from here.”
Sonia Saraiya of Variety dug deeper into Laurie’s self-comparison to Jesus’ disciple, Judas:
“But what does Laurie believe, except that everyone should know and understand their own choice? Maybe Laurie, like Judas, knew that before walking into eternity, the savior would need to be challenged. Or maybe she just felt ready for what she had long known was the next step for her, after slowly shedding herself of ties and responsibilities, and relieving herself of the weight of the world.”
Despite “Certified’s” undeniable sadness, some fans welcomed the comedic relief of Jill Garvey’s reference to Canadian children’s program Today’s Special.
More from Season 3, Episode 6, “Certified”:
Watch new episodes of The Leftovers Sunday nights at 9 pm on HBO.